Have just finished reading Slaves of Solitude by Patrick Hamilton.
I find it impossible to praise this novel too highly. It illuminates the world so that you see everything differently. It also illustrates human nature so that you find yourself saying yes, that's exactly right, I have met those sort of people myself.
The book is about the life of a 39-year-old spinster living in a shabby-genteel boarding house in Henley over a few weeks in 1943.
Nothing happens and yet everything happens. All of the human passions are laid bare (greed, hatred, lust, drunkenness, deception, cruelty, sloth etc). It is a magnificent work of art.
"It was not for him to know that between these two women there existed a feud almost unparalleled in boarding-house, or indeed feminine history - that one of them walked against the wind in De La Rue sunsets with evil, all but murderous thoughts, yet remained blameless in character."